Strengthening Intra-UN Collaboration Through the Sub-Regional Coordination Mechanism (Srcm) for Eastern and Southern Africa

10 June 2019

Livingstone Zambia — - UN meets in Livingstone from 11 to 13 June to discuss strengthening Intra-UN collaboration through the Sub-Regional coordination Mechanism (SRCM) for Eastern and Southern Africa under the theme, "Promoting Industrialisation through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA): The Role of Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Intergovernmental Organisations (IGOs) in Eastern and Southern Africa".

The meeting will bring together delegates from stakeholder organisations/institutions of the SRCM for Eastern and Southern Africa including the African Union (AU), RECs, IGOs and UN agencies for in the two sub-regions.

The first session will focus on the intra-UN collaboration through SRCM and the second session will be meeting of SRCM Focal points of AUC, RECs and IGOs to map-out strategies to foster effective collaboration and coordination under the SRCM framework.

Established in November 2010, as a subsidiary of the Regional Coordination Mechanism (RCM), the Sub-Regional Coordination Mechanisms (SRCMs) are a framework for the United Nations (UN) System-wide Support to the African Union (AU), its New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) Programme, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs). The rationale for establishing the SRCMs was to reduce fragmentation in United Nations operations and increase coherence, coordination and cooperation in the work of UN agencies to support programmes and priorities of the AU, particularly of RECs and IGOs operating on the continent. Since 2010, SRCMs have been operational in all five regions of Africa

The overall aim of the meeting is to promote dialogue and collaboration of the UN system in support of RECs and IGOs in facilitating the goal of industrialization, trade and the AfCFTA, through the SRCM. Hence, strengthening the SRCM as a major platform for UN system -wide support to the RECs and IGOs in Eastern and Southern Africa towards attaining agendas 2030 and 2063.

Other specific objectives of the meeting include:

Promote better understanding, increased knowledge and collaboration between the UN system and the RECs and IGOs on the issue of industrialization, trade and the AfCFTA;

Identify key areas of existing and proposed work of UN agencies in different aspects of industrialization and the AfCFTA, and promote increased collaboration from those areas in support of the RECs and IGOs;

Provide a platform for the RECs and IGOs to articulate their key priority areas on the issue of industrialization, trade and the AfCFTA and how they seek to promote regional interests in the implementation of the AfCFTA;

Facilitate informed discussion on how the AfCFTA will provide key aspects of agendas 2030 and 2063 including industrialization, employment, women's entrepreneurship and women's economic empowerment, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, the blue economy, tourism, food and nutrition security, migration, free movement of persons, human rights etc.; and

Dialogue and agree on a joint work plan based on key priorities of RECs/IGOs in support of AfCFTA, gender and AfCFTA, industrialization and promoting social and economic development in Eastern and Southern Africa.

The rationale of promoting industrialisation through AfCFTA is that Agenda 2063 identifies industrialization as one of the key priority areas necessary for transforming African economies and ultimately realizing a prosperous continent based on inclusive growth and sustainable development. This aspiration is well aligned with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 9 of the Agenda 2030, which seeks to promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and whose target is to raise industry's share of employment and gross domestic product, and increase the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises (especially by women and youth), in developing countries, to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets. Of significant implication on, and relevance to, the issues of industrialization, trade and the AfCFTA are SDG 12 on ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns; and SDG 13 on climate change.

The meeting is expected to contribute to enhanced knowledge on the AfCFTA, including gender and the AfCFTA, and its role in promoting regional industrialisation and women's economic empowerment; commitment and collaborative approach of the UN system towards the industrialisation agenda and priorities of the RECs and IGOs and AfCFTA initiative in Eastern and Southern Africa; and Strengthened SRCM as an effective and efficient collaboration mechanism in Eastern and Southern Africa.

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